In their second match of the OFC Champions League qualifying stage, Tupapa Maraerenga from the Cook Islands put on an impressive performance against American Samoa champions Ilaoa & To’omata, winning by a resounding 8-0. The Cook Islands side had previously secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Veitongo from Tonga in their first matchday.
From the start of the game, Tupapa looked strong and dominated possession, creating a number of opportunities. In the first half, they found the back of the net six times, with Jake McCoy opening the scoring, followed by goals from Paora Porter, Taylor Saghabi, Lee Harmon, and another from Saghabi, before McCoy scored his second of the game with a fantastic individual effort. Although Tupapa missed a penalty in stoppage time, they still held a commanding lead of 6-0 going into the second half.
In the second half, Tupapa’s coach Tuka Tisam made several substitutions, which slowed the tempo of the game. However, Tupapa managed to score two more goals, with Dwayne Tiputoa scoring at the 87th minute and Ngametua Tuakana scoring a fantastic goal after dribbling past the defense of Ilaoa & To’omata. You can watch the highlights of the match by clicking here.
While Ilaoa & To’omata had a clear chance to score with Tino Vaifale, Tupapa’s goalkeeper Manaariki Pierre made a crucial save, preventing them from scoring. With this loss, Ilaoa & To’omata will not be able to qualify for the next stage of the OFC Champions League, while Tupapa’s next game against Lupe o le Soaga from Samoa will be crucial in determining which team progresses to the next stage.